Blog Entry

Report: Strasburg will have innings capped at 160

Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:51 pm

By Matt Snyder

Just as the Nationals did with Jordan Zimmermann last season, they will handle Stephen Strasburg with kid gloves in 2012. Strasburg, about 17 months removed from Tommy John surgery, will head into the season with an innings cap of 160, reports Bill Ladson of

Presumably, this is a soft cap in the sense that he could go an inning or two over in his final outing of the campaign. Zimmermann, who had Tommy John surgery roughly a year earlier than Strasburg, threw 161 1/3 innings last season before being shut down as a precautionary measure by Washington. So it's no surprise that the Nats will handle their future ace in the exact same manner.

Zimmermann had a very promising season, too, and it looks like the young duo will join Gio Gonzalez for a formidable threesome atop the rotation for years to come. The 25-year-old Zimmermann had a 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in his return to the hill.

Strasburg, 23, has been dominant at every level in his career. He's 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in just 92 major-league innings. Upon returning last September on a very strict pitch count, Strasburg was even better. He had a 1.50 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 24 strikeouts against just two walks in 24 innings.

With the 160 innings, give or take, Strasburg will still be under wraps a bit this coming season before he's given a chance to fully break out in 2013, assuming full health.

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